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‘Hiking ExplorePACKS’ available at library

By Hannah Scott

Published 3:43 PDT, Thu June 30, 2022

Richmond Public Library users have a new tool at their disposal to encourage them to get outside this summer.

The Hiking ExplorePACKS are the first of their kind to be offered by any library in Canada. Each one has eight items to help with safe hiking: a headlamp, a bivy sack (emergency blanket and shelter), a rescue whistle, a first aid kit, an emergency radio and charger, trekking poles, a backpack, and a compass.

“The Hiking ExplorePACKS are suitable for anyone who wants to safely explore the outdoors,” says Shane Parmar, the library’s coordinator of community development and service design. “From newcomers to seniors to families, the library is committed to growing and expanding library collections for our community to enjoy.”

Any teen or adult with a Richmond Public Library card can borrow a Hiking ExplorePACK. People can place a hold on the library’s website. The equipment can be picked up and returned to the library’s Brighouse branch.

There are three types of Hiking ExplorePACKS available to be borrowed, depending on the number of people who will be using the equipment. The single pack is suitable for one person, and there are also two-person and four-person packs available.

“The library’s vision is to inspire curiosity, transform lives, and empower everyone. The introduction of the Hiking ExplorePACKS helps the library to do just that,” says Parmar.

The latest ExplorePACKS follow the birdwatching and fishing versions that were introduced earlier. STEAM kits were introduced in 2021, and borrowable ukuleles were added to the library’s collection earlier this year.

“The Hiking ExplorePACKS empower people to safely explore Richmond’s beautiful trails, parks, and pathways, even those who have never hiked before,” says Parmar. “(They) provide a great opportunity to try out hiking without having to invest in purchasing specialized equipment that is financially out of reach for some and requires physical space to store. The Hiking ExplorePACKS will help people of all ages to participate in outdoor activities with their family and friends.”

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